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The Spirit of Tasmania ferry service has announced it will move its Victorian port from Station Pier in Port Melbourne, to Corio Quay, north of Geelong.
The Spirit's operator, TT-Line, said the new 12 hectare site would include a passenger terminal building, vehicle marshalling for 600 cars, more efficient passenger vehicle check in, security facilities, public amenities, food and beverage outlet, children's play area and a pet exercise area.
The company began operating in 1985 and between the two ferries it conducts about 800 sailings per year.
TT-Line Chairman Mike Grainger said the "move to Geelong provided the company with a unique opportunity to enhance the passenger experience".
"[It will] provide room to expand our freight offering in line with the demand for many years to come," he said.
"Our operations are often negatively impacted by significant congestion in the greater Port of Melbourne area, particularly when cruise ships are in port.
"That in turn causes delays in loading and discharge of passengers."
He said passenger feedback had been key in making the decision.
"Independent research of our passengers identified three key elements that support a move to Geelong," he said.
"A location that was easy to get to, ease of check in procedures and a lack of traffic getting to and from the terminal.
"The Corio Quay solution addresses those three areas and alleviates all of the current operational constraints that exists at Station Pier."
He also said a new port base at Geelong was expected to "lead to increased passenger growth" that would benefit Tasmania's tourism industry.
This article first appeared on mobile.abc.net.au
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